Temperance

Temperance
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  • Because of miserable conditions in the factories, many poor employees turned to alcohol. This caused labor to be much more inefficient, and lead to many more injuries and deaths in the workplace.
  • Due to widespread drunkenness, the safety of women and children in the home was threatened. This caused many women to join the temperance movement.
  • In response to all the harm that alcohol was causing in American society, many temperance organizations came about in the 1820s and 30s. The most prevalent of these organizations was the American Temperance Society, which was founded in 1826 in Boston by Lyman Beecher and Justin Edwards. By 1831, the organization had 170,000 members who took a pledge to not drink alcohol.
  • A major success for the temperance movement came in 1851, when the state of Maine enacted legislation that banned the manufacturing and sale of alcoholic beverages. However, it was repealed after seven years due to its unconstitutionality, and a new law was created that only limited the sale of alcohol.
  • Despite not having much legal success in the beginning, the temperance movement continued for the remainder of the 19th century and into the 20th. Organizations such as the Woman's Christian Temperance Union was founded in 1874, and the Anti-Saloon League in 1895.
  • The biggest success for the temperance movement came much later in 1920, when the 18th amendment took effect. This amendment banned the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol nationwide. This lasted for 13 years until the passing of the twenty-first amendment, which ended prohibition in 1933.
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